The Writer’s Choices
Edited by Catherine Asaro
PYR, $18.00, 409 pages
Since Dune science fiction writers have been awarding the best writing with The Nebula Awards, an attempt by members of the field to reward those they hold in high esteem. The Nebula, despite the recent proliferation of new awards, has remained a stalwart guide to what the field aspires to be. One can also get a sense of how the field has changed with recent works veering off into the fantastic in this Showcase.
Sadly gone amiss is interstellar travel, journeys in time and encounters with extraterrestrials. Such things were harder to achieve than realized in this lived in future. Also missing is the dream of a clear cut divide between good and evil where we can vicariously fight and win. Instead one finds new directions and genre hybrids. There are some interesting literary stories requiring a close or second reading. Some of the works are also oceanic, rather than cosmic. The stories seem more appropriate for more mature audiences, but maybe one should not underestimate the young. Some big names have been included, but there are also new writers and disparate voices. One is not likely to enjoy everything, but there is a fair bit to be impressed by.
Reviewed by Ryder Miller